Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.
I'm not sure if it was the (gorgeous) cover or the great title that drew me in but I had a set idea of what Paranormalcy would be like. After reading it it wasn't at all what I expected but that's not a bad thing at all. The quote on the cover by Lisa McMann describes it as, "refreshing," and it's certainly different. This difference is evident from the first sentence where Evie is laughing at the cape and widow's peak of a vampire in a grave yard, she can see through his glamour to the withered corpse behind it. Evie's an orphan and due to her glamour-stripping talent has been brought up by an agency which controls supernaturals. She catches and tags the supernaturals she discovers to prevent them from being a threat. Vampires, for example, have an anklet applied which inserts holy water into them if they attempt to bite someone.
I must be honest and say that Evie did annoy me slightly in the first few chapters. She controls the supernaturals with her taser which she calls Tasey which is pink and covered in rhinestones. Later on she's given a knife with a hot pink handle which also sort of irked me for some reason. Other than the use of Tasey she has very few self defence skills. I get that Evie's girly, likes shopping and would rather not be doing the work of the agency but I couldn't understand why she was so poorly prepared. However, I found it difficult to let this get in the way of my enjoyment of Paranormalcy. Evie is quite endearing and I sympathised with her situation; trapped in a life that she didn't choose and without any family. She has a fabulous best friend in the form of mermaid, Lish, but apart from that she's very alone.
Evie can see through glamours but there's more to her. She's always incredibly cold and is hearing poems in her sleep. In the outside world paranormals are being killed. Whatever it is that is doing the killing, it's able to slaughter everything from vampires to hags and werewolves. Evie meets a paranormal called Lend and for the first time gets an insight into the life that she's only seen on TV - that of an American teenager. Alongside all of this is the danger of Evie's ex - a faerie called Reth. Evie's constantly trying to warn people that faeries can't be ruled by an organisation but no-one believes her.
The book becomes gripping from the middle onwards when Evie's goals become clear and she becomes more proactive. The way that paranormals are presented is fresh and interesting. Also, Evie herself is intriguing and her true nature is not something which I've come across before. The ending is satisfying but there are plenty of questions and story strands to look forward to in the sequel. Paranormalcy is both well written, fresh and definitely worth reading.